As part of our evaluation of members of the transmembrane 4 superfamily as possible prognostic predictors, we performed a retrospective study on the expression of the recently identified KAI1 gene by tumors of the lung. This gene, which is identical to CD82, suppresses tumor metastasis of prostate cancer, and its decreased expression may be involved in malignant progression. We used reverse transcription-PCR to analyze tumor tissues from 151 lung cancer patients; 74 tumors were stage I, 17 were stage II, and 60 were stage III. Our results indicate that while 35 patients had tumors in which the KAI1/CD82 gene was conserved (positive), 116 patients had tumors with reduced gene expression (negative). The overall survival rate of patients with KAI1/CD82-positive tumors was significantly higher than that of patients with KAI1/CD82-negative tumors (77.4% versus 38.5%; P = 0.002). Furthermore, the overall survival rate of patients with KAI1/CD82-positive adenocarcinoma was also much higher than that of individuals whose adenocarcinoma had reduced KAI1/CD82 expression (73.4% versus 27.1%; P = 0.009). Multivariate analysis with the Cox regression model indicated that KAI1/CD82 positivity correlated best with the overall survival rate, except for lymph node status. Our data suggest that high KAI1/CD82 gene expression by tumors of the lung may be associated with a good prognosis. These findings complement our earlier studies on MRP-1/CD9, another member of the transmembrane 4 superfamily, whose reduced expression in non-small cell lung cancer appears to be a factor of poor prognosis. This set of observations suggests that assessment of the expression status of KAI1/CD82 and MRP-1/CD9 by tumors may provide prognostic information on the clinical behavior of lung cancer.


This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education in Japan (to M. M.).

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